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Photo By: Patrick Vierthaler
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Tengu Statues of Kurama

A magical area in Kyoto, with this legendary figure that has quite a "long" story behind it.

Up in the mountains of the Kurama area of Kyoto Prefecture, there are legends of tengu lurking. According to the myths these mystical beings, part way between a human and a raptor, serve a protective, if sometimes malevolent role.

Ancient legends tell of great warriors such as the leader of the all-conquering Minamoto clan coming to these areas to learn how to master the tengu’s mystical techniques and use them to crush their enemies. As a result of their help in creating undefeatable warriors, the area has subsequently been dedicated to these fascinating creatures and makes it a worthwhile area to visit.

These days most visitors are less interested in esoteric martial arts and more interested in the beautiful scenery and photography spots. While the peaceful Kibune village, relaxing hot springs and hiking paths are all worthwhile attractions of the area, the area’s main sight is its tengu austs. The faces on these plinths look almost human with only the creature’s long nose (often twice the length of the face) telling you about its mythical origin.

Photo by: Fg2 Kuramadera Temple.

The biggest statue is at the entrance to the sacred Kurama Temple area, only a few minutes on foot from Kuramadera station.


kyoto bamboo
Here the statue’s face is the size of a person and has a nose a couple of meters long. A similar albeit smaller Tengu can be found at Yuki Temple a little further down the hiking course. This Tengu represents the dual sides of the mythical creature’s personality as visitors can draw a fortune from the beast’s head and see if the unpredictable entity will confer protection or malevolence on them.

Regardless of whether you wonder at the natural sights or the mystical history, Kurama is a unique and magical place. Just remember, as you walk down the well-worn paths, trending in the footsteps of great warriors, you may just see something vague and undefined moving in the distance. One thing is for sure, regardless of whether it is natural or magical sight, in Kurama it is guaranteed to offer you a special experience.


kyoto bamboo


Break the tourist mould and head outside of the city to uncover the rest of what Kyoto has to offer.


How To Get There


1074 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan

By train

Kurama station is the easiest place to access the area from. The station can be accessed by bus from Demachiyanagi station or by taking the private Eizan-dentetsu line directly to Kurama station.

Where To Stay

Minshuku Ohara-no-Sato
  • 41 Ohara Kusaocho, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 601-1248 Japan
  • ¥12,060 - ¥26,800
  • 4/5 (445 reviews)
  • 4.7 km
Ryoso Chatani
  • 160 Ohara Kusaocho, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 601-1248 Japan
  • ¥6,440 - ¥6,440
  • 4.75/5 (373 reviews)
  • 5.0 km
The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike
  • Kiyototakaragaikepurinsuhoteru, Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8505 Japan
  • ¥22,010 - ¥278,362
  • 4.28/5 (2,147 reviews)
  • 6.2 km
  • 40 Takagamine Kitatakagaminecho, Kyoto-shi Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8468 Japan
  • ¥16,000 - ¥64,000
  • 4.2/5 (172 reviews)
  • 8.0 km
Roku Kyoto LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • 44-1 Kinugasa Kagamiishicho, Kyoto-shi Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8451 Japan
  • ¥143,336 - ¥863,259
  • 8.5 km

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